How To Select The Right Probiotic For You
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How To Select The Right Probiotic For You

The passage to good health is paved with a healthy gut. If your gut flora is disrupted, it will make way for unfriendly microbes to enter and take over, resulting in all sorts of health issues. An unhealthy gut can lead to many allergies, auto-immune disorders, weight gain, skin problems like acne and rashes, hormonal imbalances, severe fatigue, weight fluctuations, and numerous mental health issues. One of the most effective ways to balance out your gut is by adding probiotics to your diet. In this article, let’s look at how to select the best probiotic for your gut.  

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms such as yeast or bacteria that live in the gut and are known for their many health benefits, including boosting the immune system, warding off infections, reducing the population of harmful bacteria in the gut, and improving the strength and thickness of the intestinal lining. One way to repopulate your gut with good bacteria is to include the right kind of foods cultured and fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, pickled vegetables, kimchi, miso, and kombucha, or take probiotics in supplement form. 


How to choose the best probiotic supplement for you?

From the plethora of options available in the market, which probiotic to choose is a question that often crosses our mind. If you decide to go in for probiotic supplements, you need to get clearance from a medical practitioner for doing so. There are certain things that you need to keep in mind before selecting a probiotic supplement. That is because different health issues call for different probiotics. For instance, probiotic strains that are likely to reduce the symptoms of constipation include S. cerevisiae, B. longum,  and a combination of L. reuteri, L. plantarum, L. acidophilus, B. animalis and L. rhamnosus. On the other hand, probiotic strains like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus may help improve symptoms of diarrhea. Which probiotic is good for you, depends primarily on your underlying health condition. 

You want to be certain that the supplement you have chosen contains live strains of bacteria or yeast and that these strains are alive at the time of use and not just at the time of the manufacture. Take a few moments to check the label carefully before purchasing it. Additionally, check for the following points before you choose the best probiotic supplement for you. 

  • Quality matters: It is best to go with the brand you trust. You can also ask your doctor to refer you to a brand if you haven’t taken one before. Besides, you can also do a thorough research yourself and cross check the safety and health claims made by the brand. You would not want to increase your gut health problems by consuming low-quality probiotics. So be wary of this step. 

  • Type Name: Live bacteria are ideally known by three names - genus, species and strain. A probiotic supplement box should contain all three names. While selecting your probiotic, ensure all three names are there. For instance, Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, bifidobacterium is the genus, lactis is the species, and HN019 is the strain.

  • Colony forming units (CFU): This count helps you ascertain how much bacteria you’re taking in with each dose. Your need will depend on what condition you want to treat and which type of bacterial strain you choose. There is no ideal role to follow. It is always advisable to consult a doctor to find out what and how much you might need. If you don’t get the right amount of CFU, it may not help you the way you want.

  • Label Matters: As stated already, thoroughly check the label before purchasing it. It should mention all of the above details, along with the manufacture and expiry date, storage details, and dosage. 
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